Up and Running – Matthew Ainsworth


It feels like the hunting season finished only five minutes ago, and already we have been to a show!

The hunters have begun their well earned holiday. I had a few days “away” visiting, it’s always good to go and see other peoples country and hounds. I enjoyed a few days with the Belvoir, which is where my old boss is now huntsman. They have a very different country to us, they have the vale, which would be similar to ours, hedge jumping, rails etc which is in the Leicestershire part of the country , and then on the Lincolnshire side, they have a vast acreage of arable country, which entails an awful lot of ditch jumping! (There is the occasional fly fence thrown in for good measure, but there aren’t many I’ve come across!)

When I went for a day in the Lincolnshire side, I had to take my wife’s horse, Butterfly.

April 2017 C

Endlessly Cold Hosing

She is a fairly strong sort, and has quite a lot of limb. The ground was very heavy and holding, which was the worst possible going for her. We only hunted half a day as we had a very busy couple of hours, on returning home she came off the lorry okay, maybe a little stiff but nothing glaringly obvious. Unfortunately the following day it was a different story. She had rather a lot of heat, swelling and an unpleasant “bulge” on the side of her leg. As you can probably imagine I was not popular. After a few days of cold hosing and clay, it hadn’t really improved and a scan confirmed that she had torn her check ligament. She has done this injury in the past, although not quite as badly as this, all I can say is thank goodness it was nearly the end of season! She is allowed out in confined turnout and there’s no reason why she won’t make a full recovery. (I breathed a huge sigh of relief as the vet spoke these words!)


The show horses are all up and running, and starting to take shape. We do a lot of walking with them when they come back into work. It is so important to, it hardens their legs, helps to avoid any unnecessary “additions”e.g. Splints and it allows them to muscle up slowly, without putting to much strain on their bodies, when they are probably a bit fat and jelly like after their winter break! It staggers me how many people happily put photos up on social media of their horses, just in from their break, trotting round dripping in sweat. I wouldn’t like to be made to run around after a holiday and the same consideration should be given to our horses!

April 2017 B

Out On Exercise

The first show of the season, was a new one on the calendar. It was Wiltshire Spring Show, held at West Wilts Equestrian Centre. It was really well organised, ran smoothly and efficiently. We only took one to compete, novice Maxi Cob, The Piano Man. We lightly campaigned this young Cob last year and he kept up his reputation of Mr Calm and Collected, and didn’t bat an eyelid. He finished second in his class.

April 2017 D Panio Man

The Piano Man

We have a couple of other novices we are excited about getting out, all being well they should be going to a show in the next couple of weeks! They are all looking fabulous on ReadyMash Extra!

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